Black Lives Matter Links and Resources

I have had enormous privilege in my life. I am grateful that the world is changing and I am trying to listen, learn, up-post, donate, support. Posting this list of what I have collected so far in case it is useful to others.

What I’m reading and listening to:


From Vanessa C. Peterson on Facebook

Decolonization reading list

Books to read to learn about racism

Where to find diverse books

Black-owned Independent bookstores

Black Women Authors


How to be an Ally to the Black Lives Matter Movement

75 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice

Anti-racism resources

Scaffolded anti-racism resources

Talking Points for Conversations About Race in America

An interactive history of slavery in America, as part of the 1619 project

Institutionalized Racism: A syllabus

Tear gas is very dangerous – especially in a pandemic

America’s Racial Contract

The Role of White Co-conspirators in Dismantling Systemic Racism

Black People in Canada are not Settlers

Hogan’s Alley Society

Remembering Black, Indigenous and People of Colour Killed by Canadian Police

Choose Your Activist Role

National Resource and Education Tool

Anti-racism resources

Free mental health resources


From Vanessa C. Peterson on Facebook

Where to donate your time and money

Black Lives Matter
National Bail Fund
Campaign Zero

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Fight for Breonna Fund

Color of Change

Equal Justice Initiative

Vancouver Black Therapy & Advocacy Fund

Black Women Connect Vancouver

Black Lives Matter Vancouver Go Fund Me

Black Owned Businesses in Vancouver

A few more Vancouver Black Owned Businesses

National Resources List

From Vanessa C. Peterson on Facebook


From Vanessa C. Peterson on Facebook

1619 – a history of slavery in America

99% Invisible:
The Blazer Experiment
Articles of Interest #8: Knockoffs
The Green Book Redux

Adult ISH :
Black ISH 
Working Through My ISH
Roots ISH 

The Allusionist:
Yes, As In
In Crypt, Decrypt
Ear Hustling

It Looked Like Fire
Just Mercy 

Ear Hustle:
Us & Them 
Tell Christy I Love Her
Future on Ice

Everything is Alive:
Chioke, Grain of Sand
Ayo, Balloon

The Heart:
Race Traitor Series
Divesting from People Pleasing Series 

Kitchen Sisters Present:
First Day of School, 1960 New Orleans
Black Chef, White House: African American Cooks in the President’s Kitchen
A Secret Civil Rights Kitchen: Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere

The Memory Palace:
We’ve Forgotten James Powell 
Junk Room 

Sakena – Mr. Telephone Man
Cynthia – I Need a (Straight) Man
Country Mouse vs City Mouse

Over the Road:
Why We Drive

Radio Diaries:
Remembering Olivia Hooker 
The Words of Renault Robinson – Then and Now
Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair

Song Exploder:
Meek Mill – Trauma 
Jamila Woods – Baldwin

Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man in a White World 

This Day in Esoteric Political History:
Shirley Shows Up (1972)
Ain’t I A Woman (1851)
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

This is Love:
Prairie Warbler
Always Tomorrow

Theory of Everything:
Going Karura
Utopia (part v)

The Truth:
The Off Season 
The Sweet Music of Friction


From Vanessa C. Peterson on Facebook

National Film Board of Canada Black Communities

Just Mercy

Eating the Stars and Waiting for Time to Pass

Last year I was throwing my dreams into space and changing …everything. It’s so hard to believe that I have moved countries, changed careers, started school, and (so far at least) survived a global pandemic, but all the while my hair is still blue.

I had saved this post from Rupi Kaur well before the world changed – back when we were a familiar kind of tired – but after 2 months of lockdown, separated from friends and family and community, there is nothing truer than that everything is temporary and above all, we need to be kind.

These days, I have trouble saying that the year has been hard. I have been so lucky.

I am grateful every day that we moved back to Canada when we did, that I finally made the leap to becoming a healer and mental health therapist, that I am in excellent health, my school has transitioned more or less seamlessly to online, and I am home with my dogs mitigating loneliness with many projects and zoom calls.

I have just started my second semester of grad school in counselling psychology, and it is tough, but I am grateful that it is not nearly as hard as some of the things I have put my mind to in the past. I know that I can do this and that knowledge gives me some peace during those days when I can’t seem to focus for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

So I have been keeping busy. I did a few extracurricular workshops in trauma and telehealth, a series of art classes in Spanish, did some baking, painted my hallway and put in most of the garden. I also started dancing again, now that my schedule allows for it, and learning flamenco over Zoom / practicing flamenco in one’s house is really just amazingly hard but with lots of time to practice it is possible. None of it has been particularly beautiful, but I am forgiving myself for being sloppy and trying to enjoying the art, the emotion, the community and the exercise.

I know I should be resting more and taking advantage of this time to reconnect with my city and my neighbourhood, with nature and with my husband, but the truth is that I have never been good with too much unstructured downtime. The quote on my About page used to read, “better a misadventure than a missed adventure” and if I am not up to something, I usually find myself sinking into the couch.

I think that the fear of inertia is what has kept me moving. I’m afraid that it will become a habit and then I will not be able to get out of the habit and back into productivity. It only takes 30 days for a habit to stick and too many years of being a project manager have left me with one eye on the clock and the other on the task list. But these days are different. The whole world has slowed and become strange, unfamiliar. We are learning new ways of being and I am caught between wanting to hold space for the stress and emotion of these times, and also not wanting to grow moss.

Tara Mohr wrote recently, “We’ve been taught to fear that slowing down for a while might somehow mean slowing down forever. And we’ve been taught that slowing down forever would mean never again producing anything of value” and it made me sit right up like she was saying it straight to me. 

Many experts (see links in the articles section, below) are saying that what we are dealing with right now is grief – we are grieving our old lives as we transition to the new normal and this resonates with me a bit, but mostly because I’ve been living it for a while. Moving to Seattle and back has been disruptive (to say the least) and while a lot of good things came out of it, in many ways it has been a process of trying unsuccessfully to recreate a life I was familiar with; find a job, find a home, find friends, find things to do…and all the while the busyness has kept me from making space for a truly new life.

Tara Mohr continues, “Rest. Rest in the softest chair. Rest again, listening to the rain. Take it slow – slow meals, slow glances out the window, slow growth of your branches into your oak tree self” and it sounds like a lullaby as I wake up from a nap and look out the window, trying to see the seasons change.

Normally I write a post around my birthday, with some comments on time passing, my plans for the year, and an updated photograph. Well, my birthday slid by with some restaurant take-out in April, but I did change out of sweats and took my hair down long enough to be pleased that it is still blue instead of grey.

And who knows what the next year will bring? My counselling program at Adler has committed to being online through the summer, but it doesn’t seem like there will be any travelling this year, so I used my travel budget to purchase the painting below – “Instinct” by Anne Siems. She looks so much more like who I want to be right now that I am considering it a portrait of my alter ego.

This snippet from “Antidotes to Fear of Death” by Rebecca Elson was posted at brainpickings a little while ago and I feel like the defiant courage and passion and peppery hotness of it aligns with the ferocity of my Instinct lady.

It’s going to be a long road ahead, but there are a few things I know for sure; we have enough, we will get through this, everything is temporary and above all, we need to be kind. I’m so grateful for all the essential workers and everyone who is doing their best.

What was beautiful:

Meet the Tattooed Berber Women of the Atlas Mountains
From the photographic series ‘C’est Haram’, documenting the dying tradition of facial tattooing of Berber women, Morocco, 2020. | © Giulia Frigieri / Culture Trip

What I’m reading and listening to:


That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief” by Scott Berinato (Harvard Business Review)

How you’re feeling is normal

Mental health care in the time of a pandemic

The heartbreaking struggle to stay sober during lockdown

African Photographers Raising Mental Health Awareness

Women’s resilience is saving the world

Mental Health Professionals Mobilizing Against Trump. A group believes “Donald Trump “suffers from an incurable malignant narcissism that makes him incapable of carrying out his presidential duties and poses a danger to the nation”

How BC aggressively flattened the curve

Isolation is Exhausting

How are you really?

How to be happy in isolation

What happens to our bodies when we go without touch

Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and Maira Kalman

Rebecca Solnit on Young Feminists

Urban naturalists tagging flora for identification

Amazon tribe creates 1000 page medicinal encyclopedia


Esther Perel. I always listen to everything she does but I have been particularly fascinated by relationship dynamics now that we’re in lockdown – Love, Loss, Loneliness (and a Pinch of Humour!) Under Lockdown

Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us, but particularly this episode on Anxiety, Calm + Over/Under-Functioning and this one on Loneliness

How to make stress your friend

Back in time for Dinner – a Canadian family spends a week experiencing life in each decade from the 1940’s to now.

Organizing the bookcase. A project for our times.

Coronavirus as music


The right way to wear a mask and gloves

How to regulate yourself during the pandemic

Mental health wellness tips from a psychologist

Toolkit for Couples

21 Day Meditation with Oprah and Deepak Chopra

Big list of links for emotional well-being and coping during COVID-19 from the Department of Psychiatry UCSF, via Esther Perel

Quarantine “Care Package” with a long list of various resources

A whole slew of general (non-Covid) mental health resources

How to practice loving kindness

Best Virtual Museum Tours

Local bookshop search engine and delivery

This is a list I put together for seniors with limited access to the internet


Resources for Canadian artists, writers and media workers during COVID-19 shutdowns

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources

COVID-19 Community Resources for Freelance Artists

ABLE TO HELP? Please Give Here –

A better life foundation

DTES Response

Feed the Frontline Vancouver

Lion’s Gate Hospital Foundation

VGH Covid Foundation

Feed the Children

Grandview Woodland Food Connection COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution

Cause We Care – to assist single mothers and their children in need in the Vancouver area


What I’ve been up to:

Vegas, Ucluelet, Whistler, visiting family in the Interior, and school.

What was beautiful:

A Curious Herbal: Gorgeous Illustrations from Elizabeth Blackwell’s 18th-Century Encyclopedia of Medicinal Botany
Last Matriarchy in Europe. photos by Anne Helene Gjelstad
The Ethiopian fashion tribe that turns nature into Haute Couture

What I’m reading and listening to:


Plus the psychology ones:


This incredible voyage

Who remembers what?

Not everyone has an internal monologue

A neat synesthesia tool

Personality types behind the great love stores

Bikers come to support kids who are facing their abusers in court


What I’ve been up to:

Got home from an amazing 10 days in Mexico that including a tasting menu at Pujol, exploring the ruins of Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum, scuba diving and taking part in a traditional temazcal ceremony. Pictures are coming but here are a couple:

Then I started grad school for my Masters in Counselling Psychology and from what I’ve seen so far, I am going to love it. Really glad that I have finally made the jump to a career that feels right.

What was beautiful:

All of it — the rings of Saturn and my father’s wedding band, the underbelly of the clouds pinked by the rising sun, Einstein’s brain bathing in a jar of formaldehyde, every grain of sand that made the glass that made the jar and each idea Einstein ever had, the shepherdess singing in the Rila mountains of my native Bulgaria and each one of her sheep, every hair on Chance’s velveteen dog ears and Marianne Moore’s red braid and the whiskers of Montaigne’s cat, every translucent fingernail on my friend Amanda’s newborn son, every stone with which Virginia Woolf filled her coat pockets before wading into the River Ouse to drown, every copper atom composing the disc that carried arias aboard the first human-made object to enter interstellar space and every oak splinter of the floor-boards onto which Beethoven collapsed in the fit of fury that cost him his hearing, the wetness of every tear that has ever been wept over a grave and the yellow of the beak of every raven that has ever watched the weepers, every cell in Galileo’s fleshy finger and every molecule of gas and dust that made the moons of Jupiter to which it pointed, the Dipper of freckles constellating the olive firmament of a certain forearm I love and every axonal flutter of the tenderness with which I love her, all the facts and figments by which we are perpetually figuring and reconfiguring reality — it all banged into being 13.8 billion years ago from a single source, no louder than the opening note of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, no larger than the dot levitating over the small i, the I lowered from the pedestal of ego.”

Maria Popova, Figuring

These inspiring snippets from Ram Dass; “We’re all just walking each other home”

What I’m reading and listening to:



This beautiful issue of Brain Pickings, about children’s books and Patti Smith

The joys of being an untethered woman

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future (!!!)

Why being near water makes us happier

Bucket list trips…planning a big one to the Middle East when I next have a break in school but really they are all tempting.

Edmonia Lewis and her Death of Cleopatra sculpture that was missing for years.

Ancient city found under the Guatemalan jungle

Why Americans work so much; the average American worker labors more hours than her counterparts in just about every similarly rich country, including Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom….because computing has shifted much of the economy from manufacturing to neurofacturing

How to quiet negative thoughts with self-compassion

Making “good enough” resolutions

Santa Claus may have come from shamans on mushrooms


3 Rules for Building a Stronger Relationship; give feedback assertively, take feedback constructively, and make a plan to be better

One-sided conversations; when you’re with someone, ask them questions and actually listen

Being an emotionally intelligent partner; every day, ask yourself: “What can I do today to understand & improve the lives of those around me?

Being more likeable by asking for favours

Getting people to open up

The magic of making it work;  in happy couples, for each negative interaction during a conflict, there are at least 5 positive interactions

Choosing the right relationship

How to tell if you’re a boring partner

Personal Geographies

A few years ago I read about Gerald Murnane, an Australian author who won an award that normally required the recipient to travel abroad but instead he travelled to places in his home state that had been personally significant to him – his “geographies”. As I’ve been moving home and settling into life in Vancouver, I’ve been thinking a lot about the areas where I have lived and spent time, how they’ve changed and how we are stewards for places that existed before us and continue on after the relationship is discontinued.

My parents liked to live in new buildings and built two of my childhood homes were built for us, from the ground up, but I have realized that I prefer old places with history and secrets. I love finding evidence of past lives and making things slightly better for the people who will come after. I have realized in recent years how powerful my sense of place is. I can be gardening in a section of the yard and recall an audiobook that I was listening to there the summer before, or driving down a stretch of road recalling memories encoded into something like the shape of a tree. Some places are crowded with memory while others, even if I spent a lot of time there, seem weak.

I decided to recreate Murnane’s experiment (inasmuch as I could remember it) and visit all of the places I have lived in Langley, Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle. It was a fascinating journey down memory lane but also eye-opening in terms of what we remember. Some places I found I could not recognize at all, others only from photographs.

  • Langley
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver
  • Seattle

2019 in the rearview

That was not my favourite year (nor my favourite decade) but I did a lot of work to get things pointed in a great new direction; quit my job & career, moved back to Canada and got prepped for my Masters of Counselling Psychology (that starts on Thursday EEEK!!!! 😳). In between, I snuck in sundry other adventures, a bunch of dancing and some travel. Bonus round of firsts and life list items:

  • Visited Cuba and México City (twice!)
  • Visited the Smithsonian in DC
  • Performed flamenco in public
  • Did a solo moto trip through Oregon, Idaho, Montana & California (plus the regular parts of WA and BC)
  • Rode > 1000 miles in 1 day
  • Sold our house in under a week
  • Finally made a paella over an open orange wood fire
  • Rode my vintage bike in the pride parade (first time back on it since it launched me into a truck in 2017)
  • Bought a home in YVR
  • Rode motos through England and Wales (including cruising past Stonehenge!) to see our friends married in a castle
  • Participated in a week long art retreat in Oaxaca during Day of the Dead
  • Got an A on all of my undergrad psych courses (including one I failed in my BA)
  • Renovated our basement suite and have almost finished amazifying the dining room
  • Visted Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza ruins and dove in a cenote

I’m grateful for all the opportunities to learn, experience, explore and adventure – and especially for the support – and I am super looking forward to a less intense year in 2020.


What I’ve been up to:

Recovering from all the cramming that went into November, and enjoying the calm before grad school starts in January. So, lots of tea, sleep, dog walks in the woods, freshly made everything, books read for fun…but also catching up with friends, repairing the damage to my body (as best I can), and some work on the house.

Pretty soon we will go to Mexico for 10 days and somewhere in there I will need to do my goal setting for the year but it’s not going to involve much more than going to school and getting back into shape.

What was beautiful:

A journey to the deep sea

What I’m reading and listening to:



Leonard Cohen, as well as his posthumous album, which is excellent

Simplifying Your Life

And the result of having it forced on people…this janitor photographed items confiscated from migrants at border patrol

Life Hacks from Death Notices

Mumbai from Above – Can’t hide the inequality

How to be an Artist

On public libraries

“What is the bare minimum we expect of society, and how does that differ from a fully human response? It is the bare minimum for a city to provide shelter beds to its homeless. It is human to create a sanctuary for them in their daily lives. It is the bare minimum to pay librarians to take on an unthinkable range of tasks to maintain this sanctuary. It is human to deal with the deep internal struggles and burnout this will cause.”


Empathy is Tearing Us Apart



The Golden Rule of Relationships – Make your relationship the top priority 

Or else, maybe predict the end. Four communication styles predict relationship failure – criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling.

Three kinds of friendships – utility, pleasure and deep connection


Aging Fast

How Youth Obsessed Culture Hurts

The secret life of anger


What I’ve been up to:

A LOT. I was in Mexico and then cramming to get my schoolwork and application done, getting our suite ready for rental and dealing with some health stuff and construction projects. And really just trying not to freak out about how little time I have left. This year has been nuts.

What was beautiful:

Mexico, duh! Pics and posts coming soon.

Every single person in my art group now owns a piece of jewelry from this Argentine designer

These reflections in Venice by Photographer Jodi Cobb.

Sesame Street for Syrian refugee children

Listening to the rain.

This incredible a capella rendition of the Sound of Silence

This passage about Petra in NatGeo and the singing too (in the link):

Petra: the hidden heart of Nabatea—a 2,300-year-old empire, a crossroad of antiquity, of fabulous monuments, of palaces and grand avenues chiseled into a sandstone canyon far above the Rift Valley of Jordan. Towers. Columns. Stairs. Altars. Pediments. Aqueducts. Palaces. Petra is a city scooped from living rock. Its architecture rivals the majesty of Rome, the clean beauty of classical Greece—just two of the many empires with whom it traded. The Nabateans were once nomads, proto-Arabs. For centuries they monopolized the incense trade. Their gods are depicted as cubes, as pure geometry, as triangles, as abstract squares. (Al Qaum, the warrior god, a night deity who protected the caravans, was a guardian of all sleepers, whose wandering souls took the form of stars.) They held wine-soaked feasts for their dead. In Mada’in Salih, Saudi Arabia, they carved gigantic tombs from bergs of rock that stand like colossal Fabergé eggs in the barren deserts. Awesome. Imposing. Monuments to raw power. To monomania.

1940’s Photo Essay of Women Motorcyclists

These vintage Vancouver photosets I came across; Old Vancouver and the City Archives. Such neat stuff in there. And:

Also some pretty things around town in (modern) Vancouver:

What I’m reading and listening to:



Dogs communicating

Belugas playing fetch

Probably my future

Hopefully my future

Ditto – BFFs living together in tiny houses

Always following along with the Out of Eden Walk at NatGeo

And annually studying the Guide to the Vancouver Culture Crawl

On kindness:

Tips for living a kinder life from kindness expert Gabriella Van Rij

  1. Truly start listening to others (instead of already formulating the answer in your head)
  2. Answer rudeness with kindness (think of someone being extremely snippy to you, then say in a friendly tone “did you have a hard day?”. You will have already diffused the moment)
  3. Include someone who is on the sidelines. By doing this, you have valued them – it’s dehumanizing to go through life unnoticed, unwanted and unloved
  4. Action/reaction. Understand when there is unkindness, it is not about you. When you are triggered, take a deep breath and step back
Researchers identified three factors that determine whether input will be taken to heart. People will go along with advice if it was costly to attain and the task is difficult (think: lawyers interpreting a contract). Advice is also more likely to be taken if the person offering counsel is more experienced and expresses extreme confidence in the quality of the advice (doctors recommending a treatment, for example). Emotion plays a role, too: Decision-makers are more likely to disregard advice if they feel certain about what they’re going to do (staying with a dud boyfriend no matter what) or they’re angry (sending an ill-advised text while fuming).


What ADHD feels like

Too Much Fighting

Best Marriage Advice

I can relate to so much of this I bought the book.
So much good stuff in here


Travel as a political act


Canada creates two huge ocean sanctuaries in the Arctic

Rejection Sensitivity

Self-care based on your love language

The symbolism of Mary and Pachamama

SF Chef takes the meat off of all her menus

When you feel like garbage (most of the past few weeks for me)

(And related) how to feel better


What I’ve been up to:

Listening to flamenco, and the rain.

Still studying, but we are getting pretty tired of it
I also went to my 25th high school reunion. First time for everything!

What was beautiful:

Photos from Burning Man

Bach on the cello in the rain

What I’m reading and listening to:



A guide to acknowledgement

The incredibly cool Native land map really shows how complex this is. Another map is here

Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgement – at the Guardian

Vancouver Milestone (2014)

BC Milestone (2017).  “the courts have been increasingly firm that the Crown in B.C. does not have clear title to the land and its resources…In the rush to establish the colony of British Columbia, governor James Douglas skipped over the stage of negotiating treaties. In 1859, he issued a proclamation that declared all the lands and resources in British Columbia belong to the Crown. At that time, the colony had about 1,000 Europeans and an estimated 30,000 Indigenous people.”

Our home is on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam (xʷmәθkʷәy̓әm), TsleilWauthuth (Sәl̓ílwәtaʔ/Selilwitulh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Kwiketlam (Coquitlam) First Nations.

We acknowledge our home is built on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish people – səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Qayqayt, and Stz’uminus, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations.

And then there’s this:


Dogs can pick up on our stress

Dogs understand our feelings

And a similar piece on raven communication

Some more articles –

The positive effect of puppies on marriages. For a school paper I’m writing.

Turkish temple pre-dates Stonehenge by 6,000 years

Narcissists in relationships

Why women cheat

On attachment (and love)

Having someone to love and something to do isn’t everything. Do less and disconnect?

How to choose a psychotherapist

Cats on leashes


What I’ve been up to:

Still dancing and studying and puttering…in between naps.

walking dogs in the fall sunshine and watching our neighbourhood turn to gold.

What was beautiful:

Important instructions from Flying Edna: making stars
Fall sunshine in East Van
Tim Burton exhibit now at the Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas

What I’m reading and listening to:



On procrastination. So very relevant.

What to do about climate change. All of my banks are assholes. I hate banks.

Preparing my garden for winter. I didn’t inherit much of one at the new house but I want to have a good one next year.

Principles of a climate-friendly diet. I feel like I have the basics down but definite room for improvement, especially with regards to packaging and processed foods. Also wine.

Why some people become life-long readers. Not an introvert, didn’t see parents read, didn’t have books at home growing up…somehow (my birth mother was an avid reader), I am the exception and just like them.

Relationship expectations. Also very relevant.

When you lose momentum, you become vulnerable to distraction. I go through this nearly every day these days.

The myth of soulmates. “while I hate the idea of marriage as “hard work,” long-term relationships are borne out of deliberate choices, not fate. We choose to stay together, or not; we choose to put the other person’s happiness first, or to lay it aside in favor of our own. We decide to stay faithful or cheat, to be an equal partner or let the other carry the weight.”

On life after 75. I’m with this guy, I can’t get into it.

Benefits of short-term therapy

Dog owners may live longer

Alternatives to meditating

Learning to be happy alone

Communication and lasting relationships

Talking to therapists about climate change

More and more Canadians getting banned from the U.S.

Using dogs to re-seed the forest

Neil Gaiman tells an amazing story about David Bowie and compassion: